Marcos vows Pinoys of upgraded NAIA when they return to Manila

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei—President Marcos promised Filipinos in Brunei that the next time they go back to the Philippines, they will be greeted with an upgraded Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

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Filipino community in Brunei (Betheena Unite)

Marcos said the access to connectivity, especially in underdeveloped areas, must continue to be opened up and improved.

Included in this effort, he said, is the improvement of the country's main gateway.

"So, we go to the underdeveloped areas of the Philippines  and this  we will open up through the construction of roads and bridges, as well as an efficient means of transportation, including the expansion of railway services and including connectivity and access to means of communication so that no part of the Philippines is outside of its reach," Marcos said in his speech when he met the Filipino community on Tuesday afternoon, May 28.

"Pagbalik  po ninyo  sa Pilipinas (When you go back to the Philippines), we hope to also welcome you to a new and upgraded Manila International Airport as we embark," he added.

Marcos admitted that the airport has long been neglected and it would take 15 years to fully develop an interconnected passenger terminal.

"Dahil  sinimulan na po natin dahil nakakahiya naman po, yung airport natin, napabayaan na nang husto at pagka yung mga pinag-aaral tungkol sa mga  airport hindi maganda po ang report sa airport natin sa Maynila (We have started it because it is shameful that our airport has been neglected and every time there is an study on airports, we receive bad reports for our airport in Manila)," he said.

The President said while the entire vision for airport access and experience in Manila will take many years, the initial upgrades that have been done will be felt by next year.

He also reiterated that infrastructure remains to be his top priority as it would also help in the modernization of the agriculture sector.

"I cannot say it enough. I cannot emphasize it enough, but we really need to invest in the development, productivity, and modernization of our agri sector. By building infrastructure, improving market linkages of our farmers, our farmlands will yield not only crops, but also opportunities that create ripples of positive effects throughout our nation," he said.

Be part of the transformation

Meanwhile, the President also encouraged Filipinos to be part of the effort to transform the country in terms of its economy, governance, and society.

"I encourage every Filipino to look beyond differences and to work harmoniously together to build a nation that not only meets current challenges, but also envisions and shapes a more promising future for all our citizens," Marcos said.

"And that is why I call for transformation. We have to transform our idea of being a Filipino. The transformation of the way that we present ourselves to each other and to the rest of the world. And the transformation of our economy, of our governance, and of our society," he added.